Italy row over self defence after burglar shot dead

An Italian restaurant owner who shot a burglar dead is being investigated for voluntary manslaughter, sparking calls on Saturday for changes to the country's law covering self-defence killings.

Italy row over self defence after burglar shot dead

Mario Cattaneo, 67, killed the burglar with a single shot from his hunting rifle early on Friday after hearing intruders breaking into his restaurant.

They apparently had the intention of stealing cigarettes from the adjacent tobacconist, according to police cited by Italian media.

A magistrate has placed the owner of the “Osteria dei Amis” in Gugnano near Milan under formal investigation on suspicion of committing a crime which carries a minimum prison term of 21 years.

It sparked howls of outrage from right-wing politicians.

Maurizio Gasparri, a close ally of Silvio Berlusconi, launched an appeal for funds to pay the restaurateur's legal bills. Regional president Roberto Maroni said: “It's the world turned upside down.”

Northern League leader Matteo Salvini called for a change in the law to ensure self-defence could automatically be invoked in such cases.

“A death is always terrible news but if this young man had gone to work instead of out robbing he would be alive today,” Salvini wrote on his Facebook page.

Italian law does provide for homicide charges to be reduced if a killer is deemed to have acted in legitimate defence, which usually requires the accused to show they had reasonable grounds to fear for their own life.

The circumstances of the latest episode were unclear.

The victim had been shot in the back and his body was found some 100 metres (320 feet) from the property. The owner told police his gun had gone off in a scuffle after the dead man tried to grab it from him.

The dead man could not be identified immediately because there were no identity papers on him and police did not have his fingerprints on file.

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Romanian billionaire and seven others die in Milan plane crash

A light aircraft piloted by Romanian billionaire Dan Petrescu crashed into an empty office building near Milan on Sunday, killing him, his wife and son, and all five others aboard.

Police and rescue teams outside the office building where a small plane crashed in the Milan suburb of San Donato.
Police and rescue teams outside the office building where a small plane crashed in the Milan suburb of San Donato on October 3rd. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

The single-engine Pilatus PC-12 had taken off from Milan’s Linate airport shortly after 1pm headed for Olbia in the north of the Italian island of Sardinia.

It crashed just a few minutes later into a building in San Donato Milanese, a town southeast of Milan, according to aviation agency ANSV, which has opened an investigation.

Witnesses said the plane was already in flames before it crashed into an office building undergoing renovations.

Petrescu’s 65-year-old wife, who also had French nationality, and their son Dan Stefano, 30, were killed.

Italian media identified the other passengers as entrepreneur Filippo Nascimbene, a 33-year-old from Lombardy, with his wife, young son and mother-in-law, who have French nationality.

Petrescu, 68, was one of Romania’s richest men. He headed a major construction firm and owned a string of hypermarkets and malls. He also held Germany nationality, the Corriere della Sera newspaper reported.

Flames engulfed the two-storey building, next to the yellow line subway terminus.

“The impact was devastating,” Carlo Cardinali, of the Milan fire brigade, told news agency Ansa.

Deputy prosecutor Tiziana Siciliano was quoted by Corriere as saying that the plane’s black box had been recovered.